1

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one question about fermentation

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 20, 2011 at 5:43 PM

So I started making sauerkraut with some small additional amounts of carrot. Chopped it, mixed it with some salt, put it in a big jar and pushed it enough so the juices covered the solids. Then I sealed it airtight, but after two days bubbles begin to create ( I know it's a part of the process ) and some solids came to the top. The question is should I leave it like this or can I open it and add some additional brine made from water mixed with salt. I am asking because I am concerned if the opening won't spoil the fermentation.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on December 21, 2011
at 09:46 AM

Andrew, this sounds logic! I would love to see a pic.

1c7f48b2a066fb8fc5927ec31aa3e391

(175)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:34 AM

unfortunately it's too late :)

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on December 21, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Opening the jar won't hurt it. By solids do you mean some of the veggies, or white scum? I meant to get rid of scum, but my answer wasn't super clear. The bits that float to the top you can press back down unless they're moldy.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 20, 2011
at 07:53 PM

Thanks for the tip about the whole cabbage leaf- I'm making my first batch.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 20, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Do you have a weight of some kind keeping the matter submerged? If so I'd say leave it - sometimes you'll get a few pieces around the edges that dry out, they can be discarded when done fermenting. If not, it isn't harmful to open it. When I've made kraut in mason jars, smashed down initially but not weighted, I opened them a few times during the process just to smash everything down again and skim some white bubbles off the top. I'd recommend trying to compress the matter, not dilute the liquid.

1c7f48b2a066fb8fc5927ec31aa3e391

(175)

on December 20, 2011
at 05:59 PM

So you're saying there's no problem with opening the jar? I just should do it, remove the top and add some salt water?

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5 Answers

best answer

5
Df37dee1b45f564770863d8a74016cbe

(1035)

on December 20, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Especially at the beginning, the fermentation process (the bubbling) moves some of the solid stuff to the top, leaving little air pockets underneath along with the brine. Just push down hard on the top. You'll force the air out of the kraut, and the liquid will rise again.

This is the reason for leaving 2" headspace when you first fill your jars. I also press a whole cabbage leaf over the top, helping to keep most of the kraut under brine.

Don't worry about the solids on the top. If you filled your jar too full, just remove a little bit and press down HARD with a spoon or with your clean fist, until the brine comes back to the top.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 20, 2011
at 07:53 PM

Thanks for the tip about the whole cabbage leaf- I'm making my first batch.

4
50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

on December 20, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I wonder about this airtight sealing. There is no reason to seal it airtight. Gases will be produced by the microorganisms and thoses gases want to escape. Traditionally the sauerkraut pot is not sealed but the lid lays loose on the top. The trick is that the lid lays in a furrow of water. Furthermore the kraut is topped by a piece of wood (which has big holes) and the wood is pressed down into the kraut by a stone. 6 weeks and don't touch it, just listen to the bubbles. Greetings from a Kraut :-)

2
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on December 21, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I make sauerkraut in wide-mouth mason jars, using standard metal lids (making sure that the lid is new enough that the rubber seal is still soft.) The recipe I use is a half tablespoon of salt per one pound of shredded cabbage/veggies. I pack it in the jar and place a little ceramic weight on top to keep the kraut submerged below the brine. I add a little water, if necessary.

I then close the lid tight, and once a day for the first 7-10 days, I slightly loosen the lid just enough for any built-up gas pressure to escape with a hiss, and then I tighten it back up. This allows the CO2 generated by the fermentation to purge the jar of air. That prevents aerobic nasties from growing inside the jar. After 10 days at room temperature, I put the jar in the fridge and let the kraut age for a month or two before opening. Unopened, the kraut will keep for many months.

2
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:34 AM

I make mine in a stone jar. I have a saucer which fits neatly on the top of the cabbage, and a lidded glass jar filled with water sits on top of the saucer, sticking up above the rim of the stoneware jar. Over the top of this I put a large carrier bag, held in place organist the rim of the stoneware jar with a big elastic band.

Several times a day I press down on the jar through the plastic, which forces the cabbage mix down, pushing the ferment bubbles up in a lovely glooping noise. After a week or two, the glooping stops, at which point I transfer the kraut to some lidded jars and store it in the fridge.

This way, no insects , dust etc can get in, the cabbage stays below the brine and it seems to work fine.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on December 21, 2011
at 09:46 AM

Andrew, this sounds logic! I would love to see a pic.

1
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on December 20, 2011
at 05:51 PM

You'll be fine! I'd skim the stuff off the top. If the cabbage and carrots aren't totally submerged in the remaining brine, add more salted water (I think it's a scant 1 Tbsp salt/8 fl oz water? Or maybe 1 tsp. I forget. Whatever your directions say!) to cover.

1c7f48b2a066fb8fc5927ec31aa3e391

(175)

on December 20, 2011
at 05:59 PM

So you're saying there's no problem with opening the jar? I just should do it, remove the top and add some salt water?

1c7f48b2a066fb8fc5927ec31aa3e391

(175)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:34 AM

unfortunately it's too late :)

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on December 21, 2011
at 12:37 AM

Opening the jar won't hurt it. By solids do you mean some of the veggies, or white scum? I meant to get rid of scum, but my answer wasn't super clear. The bits that float to the top you can press back down unless they're moldy.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 20, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Do you have a weight of some kind keeping the matter submerged? If so I'd say leave it - sometimes you'll get a few pieces around the edges that dry out, they can be discarded when done fermenting. If not, it isn't harmful to open it. When I've made kraut in mason jars, smashed down initially but not weighted, I opened them a few times during the process just to smash everything down again and skim some white bubbles off the top. I'd recommend trying to compress the matter, not dilute the liquid.

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